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Merry Christmas: a drop in gas prices should be in play during Holidays

Fuel price graphic showing the many factors that affect prices
“And please drive safely while on the road …” says OPM

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — ASG Office of Petroleum Management (OPM) has excellent Christmas news for the territory, especially motorists. The new maximum allowable price (MAP) or wholesale price for all petroleum products sold in the territory got a decrease — effective Dec. 15th through Dec. 31, 2018. 

For gasoline it's an 11-cent per gallon drop, according to petroleum data released yesterday by OPM, whose petroleum officer, Sione Kava said the “significant drop” in the price of fuel sold by the refinery in Singapore — where American Samoa and the rest of the neighboring islands get their fuel — in November is felt in the December MAP.

“Consumers will have more change jingling in their pockets this holiday season,” he said yesterday. He continued, “Merry Christmas to all of American Samoa. And please drive safely while on the road during the Holidays.”

Average price at local gas stations is now $3.54 per gallon for gasoline and $3.87 per gallon for diesel, according to the Dec. 15 to Dec. 31, 2018 fuel price glance for American Samoa report, released by OPM.

The report shows that within the aforementioned time period, the maximum allowable price (MAP) or wholesale price for gasoline — compared to the previous MAP is a reduction of 11-cents per gallon.

For diesel products such as road, boilers/generators, commercial fishing vessels and other marine diesel, the current MAP shows a decrease of 6-cents per gallon. Additionally, the MAP decreased by 8-cents per gallon for the ultra-low sulfur for road diesel and ultra-low sulfur diesel for boilers/generators.

And the MAP for kerosene and jet fuel decreased by 7-cents, according to OPM data in its report.

The fuel price report points out that globally, crude oil supply is growing faster than anticipated. It notes that contributing to the surplus is the United States’ record-breaking production levels — which hit the highest level ever recorded by the Energy Information Administration. 

In addition, there is more Iranian supply in the market than expected, due to the U.S. granting crude sanction waivers to some of Iran’s largest importers, including India, South Korea and Japan.

ASG/OPM reminds consumers that it does not have control over the prices at the gas station, as the retail price is determined by the owners. ASG/OPM does have control over the MAP.

With the volatile market, and the changes that continue to happen, OPM’s current MAP covers only up to Dec. 31st and will release at a later date the MAP covering Jan. 1 to Jan. 14, 2019 - for the start for the New Year. The MAP released by OPM in the past is effective from the 15th of that month to the 14th of the following month.